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5 Ways to Break the Cycle of Negative Thinking


You are not your thoughts. Once you learn this, you have the power to completely change your life. It may seem like a bold statement, but once you start breaking away from a cycle of negative thinking, you’ll be astounded by the results.

You’ll start believing in yourself, trying new things, attracting positive people, and ultimately living your life in a whole new way—and for the better. These five important steps to stop negative thinking for good will help to get you there.

1. Separate Yourself From Your Thoughts

Before you can break the cycle of negative thinking, you must first separate yourself from your thoughts. This is how you recognize that you are not what you think. Your thoughts are sometimes unavoidable and pop up when least expected.

Stand back and observe your thoughts. Recognize that you can reject a thought or accept a thought. You can believe it or tell it to get out of your head. Separating yourself from your thoughts will help you regain control and steer your mind in a more positive direction.

2. Start a Gratitude Journal

Gratitude is an incredible tool to introduce more positivity into your life. If you recognize that you’re often negative about one particular aspect of your day or life in general, start a gratitude journal focusing on the good you can find in that specific area. A gratitude journal can be recorded daily or weekly. Simply find a blank notebook and start recording all the positive things you notice in the world around you.

3. Rewrite Your Story

We all have a story we tell ourselves about our life. That story frames how we see the world, other people, and ourselves. But negative thoughts can cause our personal story to take a dark turn.

Luckily, we can change that story any time we want. Rather than considering yourself a victim, you can rewrite your story as the hero or heroine. Write a story you want to be living in, and remind yourself of this new story to help stop negative thinking.

4. Avoid All-or-Nothing Thoughts

Negative thinking often comes in the form of all-or-nothing statements like “I never get to . . . ” or “This always happens . . . ” Most all-or-nothing statements simply aren’t true, and they don’t do you any favors in real life. Avoid these types of thoughts by adopting a more realistic view. Everything in life is on a spectrum, and you should take the time to notice when the things in your life go right.

5. Meditate

Meditation is the ultimate way to separate yourself from your thoughts and find inner peace. If you’re not sure where to start, just focus on your breathing for five to ten minutes a day. This may seem easy, but most people find it hard to not let their mind stray to other things. For best results, meditate in a quiet, secluded place. Build up to longer periods of meditation, and be sure to practice daily.

Contact Chicago Lakeshore Hospital Today

If you’re looking for more ways to break the cycle of negative thinking, Chicago Lakeshore Hospital can help. Our private behavioral health hospital offers reputable mental health programs for children, adolescents, and adults alike. if you feel your negative thoughts have become a problem for you or a family member contact us to learn more about how we can help you or your family member today.